In the midst of a particularly horrendous Minnesota winter (well, it’s been horrendous for many parts of the U.S.), I’ve found myself dreaming of a romantic (and preferably warm) Valentine’s get-a-way.
Unfortunately, like many, I have to stay in town and work that week.
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t add a little international flare to my Valentine’s Day festivities. Here’s a romantic French-inspired meal I’m planning to prepare for my sweetheart.
Kir Royale: A classic French aperitif made with one part crème de cassis and five parts champagne. Serve chilled, in a champagne flute. A little bubbly is sure to start the evening off right.
Moules Marinières: Nothing says romance like mussels steamed in white wine. For a great video demonstration of how to prepare them, see Epicurious.com. Moules are great paired with a white wine like Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon (Fumé) Blanc.
Boeuf Bourguignon: Comforting and satisfying like a warm embrace, boeuf bourguinon is the perfect way to say “Je t’aime.” For Julia Child’s famous recipe, see: Oprah.com
I’ll serve this with a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere.
Assorted Fromages: No French dinner would be complete without a cheese plate. I like to include an authentic Roquefort, a Coeur de Chèvre (goat cheese shaped in a heart) and a Fourme d’Ambert with pear, apricot or fig spread filling.
Cherry Clafoutis: Red and sweet, cherry clafoutis (cherries suspended in a custard-like batter) is the perfect way to end a valentine’s dinner. The Joy of Baking has a good recipe. In honor of Valentine’s day, I’ll serve mine with a few heart-shaped gourmet chololates.
Un Petit Café: A strong espresso is a great way to finish off the meal. Even though it’s not French, I use Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Espresso.